Renewable Power Perspectives Q&A with Robert “A.J.” Patton, CEO of 548 Capital, LLC.

Inform us about your business? (objective, partners, regions you operate in, primary clients, and so on).
The vision of 548 Capital is to make sustainable innovations available for all: all communities, all families, everyone should have access. Somebody, some entity, has to act as the bridge so that those innovations reach everybody. Thats what my objective is, and luckily we are growing. We are presently headquartered in Chicago, but we will be revealing some brand-new areas this fall

Share with us a current success story.
We recently joined Mayor Lightfoot for an interview to announce that we will be constructing a $30 million, totally sustainable and entirely budget friendly development, in collaboration with the City of Chicago. We are building 50 property systems, a cafe, an organization center, all on the South Side of Chicago, which will broaden solar-powered use in the city
What impact are you making?
When people learn who is behind our company, I think there is constantly a shock. Even in our own communities, people simply cant believe it. To me, thats quite satisfying. Individuals seeing whos behind 548 Capital matters.
The other thing that I believe is essential is we have a financial impact that resonates with people, and its a quite effective message. That quantity of cash effects the budget plan of everyday households
What obstacles do you face? Why?
When I go to banks and state that were constructing sustainable real estate in low- and moderate-income communities, they look at me like Ive spoken the incorrect language. These communities are still being red-lined. I believe the lesson is that coalition structure is essential.

I think there is always a shock when people learn who is behind our business. Even in our own communities, people just cant believe it. Putting individuals in rooms together so everyone can share notes is always valuable. We are likewise always prepared to host people if they want to see some of the sustainable technology we are putting in these communities. We host individuals as soon as a week at our building so they can see the technology that were using in communities that traditionally havent had gain access to.

By Constance ThompsonAugust 31, 2021
Picture thanks to Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is happy to share the third installation in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog site series.
Each installment features market leaders and subjects connected to speeding up a fair and simply transition to a renewable resource economy. In acknowledgment of National Black Business Month, our August functions highlight how three Black-owned Accelerate member business are growing in the renewable energy sector.
Robert “A.J.” Patton is a financing, sales, and capital markets professional with more than a decade of experience in financial investment banking, endowment management, and real estate analysis. In May 2016, A.J. established 548 Capital, LLC, to integrate his knowledge and performance history of developing consistent returns with a personal passion for helping change communities and their impact on the planet. In 2019, Patton was called a recipient of the Energy News 40 Under 40 award– highlighting his effect on Americas transition to a tidy economy.
CHECKED OUT MORE: Up-and-Comer Developer Makes Headway without the Banks ( Chicago Sun-Times, August 27, 2021).
What inspired you to start your business?
I had two critical minutes that made me leap. In 1999, my mother received a $400 gas bill, and she was only making ten bucks an hour, so we could not pay for the gas expense. A lot of people have similar anecdotes, and thats not a good thing
The 2nd essential minute was most likely 15 years earlier, as I was working for a firm that was purchasing a host of things worldwide. Individuals were can be found in to ask for an investment around sustainable energy, and I postured a concern to them: “What you are doing with these solar firms is magnificent, and the cost of solar is coming down, however how does that help everyday individuals?” I asked, “Where are they in your equation? Where is their access? They are paying a disproportionate quantity of their income on energy.” They looked confused that I would even dare ask about the everyday individuals. They stated, “Well, you understand, low- and moderate-income families frequently live in multi-family buildings, and it is hard to get in contact with those building owners. If you can not get in contact with the building owners, you have to get in touch with private families and the expense of getting those people educated and then subscribing to sustainable energy is not a favorable company model.” I asked, “What if I owned the housing development and the solar?” And they stated, whoever does that is going to alter the market permanently. I stopped my job. I believe I turned in my resignation within six months of that discussion, and I started my company. I called it 548 Capital because that is the system number in the public real estate where I grew up. Everything is I do is targeted to families in those circumstances and focused on enhancing their quality of life

So what can organizations like ACORE do to move that needle for you, to break down that barrier?
Putting people in rooms together so everyone can share notes is constantly valuable. Through the Accelerate program, weve had a possibility to speak straight with lenders and tax credit syndicators which is incredible. Then, if there are nationwide corporations that can support our work that can likewise be a big offer. Were presently dealing with a collaboration with Lowes, which is contributing about $1,000,000 worth of products to support our jobs. Stabilizing direct exposure, standing beside us and stating “these neighborhoods deserve investment”– you cant put a value on that
How can potential partners work with you?
Today, we are Chicago-focused. We are always looking for partners to invest, provide financial obligation or purchase some tax credits, thats the first ask. We are also always happy to host people if they wish to see a few of the sustainable technology we are putting in these neighborhoods. This is not exclusive; its an open book. We host individuals when a week at our structure so they can see the innovation that were using in communities that historically havent had gain access to. We are also going to be broadening our board. Im always difficult magnates to put their name and face on these efforts due to the fact that I think that has genuine value
How was your Accelerate membership benefited you?
Its been fantastic simply to fulfill the other Accelerate member business. I found out a lot from having discussions with them in real-time, and discovering individuals with completely different perspectives. I like the networking.
I believe we are doing the very best we can do in the COVID environment. Just knowing that it exists, which ACORE is so deliberate about the program, makes a huge distinction.